ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Commerce Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan on Wednesday said that reimbursement of tax refunds to the exporters was the top priority of the government under the Prime Minister’s package for exporters. He further said that the Ministry of Commerce was also revising the Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) for the benefit of the business community.
The STPF had been devised and implemented with a delay of one and half years and according to some economic experts, the delayed implementation of the policy was the sole reason for the blockade of sales tax refunds as well as the declining exports.
Therefore, the Commerce Minister, in a meeting with a delegation of Asian Development Bank (ADB) led by its senior advisor Warner Liepach here, said that the government was paying due attention to both the issues.
Khurram Dastgir Khan said that commerce ministry is focused on reimbursement of tax refunds and payment of funds under PM package to boost exporter’s confidence. He informed Warner Liepach that the commerce ministry is working on revising the Strategic Trade Policy Framework and will also very soon introduce Law on Geographical Indication.
Minister for Commerce said that before the end of this year Ministry of Commerce will launch a campaign for the International Brand Marketing of Pakistan. “Pakistan needs hand holding institutions for Small and Medium Enterprises to help them to become exporters”, added the minister.
Warner Liepach, senior advisor, ADB said that in cooperation with the ministry of commerce a comprehensive report will be prepared which will consist of recommendations regarding governance, policy and coordination among different ministries.
He further said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif first phase of reforms in power sector has been successfully completed and now ADB is focusing on other sectors of Pakistan economy. Both commerce minister and senior advisor ADB agreed to start work on the proposals in July with mutual cooperation.